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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

waited soberly until Dixon had rubbed him down,
mounted, and ridden serenely out of sight. The
Colonel was on the spot to congratulate me on my
"nailing good performance" and, better still, to give
Dixon his due for having got Cockbird so fit. Those
few lofty minutes when he was making much of his
horse were Dixon's reward for all the trouble he had
taken since Gockbird had been in his charge. He
had needed no such incentive, but he asked for
nothing more. While he was on his way back to
Downfield he may also have thought to himself how
he had made me into a good enough rider to have got
round the course without a catastrophe. (He had yet
to hear full details of the race—including my peculiar
acrobatics toward the end, which had been witnessed
by no one except the rider of Mikado, who had been
kind enough to tell Groplady that he never saw such
a thing in his life, which was, I hoped, intended as a
compliment.)

When I had watched Dixon's departure I found
that public interest was being focused on the
Yeomanry Team Race. I was glad to slip away by
myself: a few fields out in the country I relaxed my
legs on a five-barred gate and contemplated my
achievement with as much mental detachment as I
could muster. Even in those days I had an instinct
for getting the full flavour of an experience. Perhaps
I was fortunate in not yet having become aware that
the winner of the last race is forgotten as soon as the
next one starts.

Forty minutes later I had claimed my cup. (There
was no ceremony of presentation.) Having crammed
the ebony pedestal into my kit-bag I came out into
the paddock with the cup in my other hand. It was
convenient to carry, for it had handles to it,

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